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Word Counts for a Group of Documents

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Word Counts for a Group of Documents.

Lise is working with 50 small documents, many less than a page long. All are in separate files (no master or subdocuments). She'd like to know the total word count in all the files and wonders if there is an easy way to get the count.

One option is to use a third-party add-in that can calculate the word counts for you. Here are three suggestions you may want to check out:

WordCounter: http://www.editorium.com/counter.htm
FineCount: http://www.tilti.com/software-for-translators/finecount/?id=2_finecountv2
Total Assistant: http://www.surefiresoftware.com/totalassistant/

Of course, if you prefer to "roll your own" rather than to rely on somebody else's solution, you can create a relatively simple macro that will step through each file in a folder and calculate a total word count.

Sub GetWordCount()
    Dim docname As String
    Dim NumWords As Long
    Dim NumFiles As Integer
    Dim PathName As String

    PathName = "c:\mypath\"

    NumWords = 0
    docname = Dir(PathName & "*.doc*")
    While docname <> ""
        NumFiles = NumFiles + 1
        Documents.Open FileName:=PathName & docname, Visible:=False

        NumWords = NumWords + ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties("Number of words").Value

        Documents(docname).Close savechanges:=False
        docname = Dir

    MsgBox ("There are " & NumWords & " words in " & NumFiles & " documents.")
End Sub

To use the macro, make sure you change the PathName variable so that it reflects the path to the folder containing the documents you want to tally. (The path designation must end in a backslash.) When you run the macro, it displays the word count in a message box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5595) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Word Counts for a Group of Documents.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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